Genetics, pregnancy, nursing, weight fluctuation, and the natural aging process are among many factors that can cause the breasts to lose skin elasticity, firmness, and volume. The aesthetic result of these influences typically involves some degree of breast ptosis, or a downward migration of the breasts from their location on the chest wall. For women seeking to minimize the appearance of breast sag and restore the youthful characteristics of their breasts, a breast lift—medically referred to as a mastopexy—may be an effective solution. A breast lift is a cosmetic procedure designed to provide a more youthful breast appearance and body contour by reducing the look of breast sag. For the right patients, this enhancement surgery can reshape and elevate the breasts for improved projection and a rejuvenated overall aesthetic. Dr. Geoffrey Leber, our skilled plastic surgeon, utilizes the “Dermal Wing Mastopexy” technique when performing the procedure to minimize the possibility of recurrent breast sagging and achieve remarkably natural-looking results.
- Breast Lift Benefits
- Breast Lift Candidates
- Breast Lift with Implants
- Breast Lift Procedure
- Breast Lift Recovery
- Breast Lift Results
- Breast Lift Scars
- Breast Lift and Breastfeeding
- Non-Surgical Breast Lift
- Breast Lift Cost
What Can a Breast Lift Do for Me?
A breast lift is designed to raise the breasts to a more youthful position on the chest wall in order to diminish a sagging appearance. This is accomplished by removing excess breast skin and reshaping the remaining tissue for an improved breast shape and contour. The procedure can also reduce the size of the nipples and areolas if desired, as well as restore displaced nipples to a more central location on the breast mound. When approaching a breast lift, Dr. Leber performs the Dermal Wing Mastopexy—an innovative technique that can allow the breasts to have less reliance on overlying skin for support, effectively minimizing the risk of recurrent breast sag.
Who is a Candidate for a Breast Lift?
Ideal candidates for a mastopexy wish to achieve a younger-looking breast contour and have realistic expectations for the aesthetic outcome. The procedure is generally most successful for women with moderate to significant breast ptosis (sag). During your consultation, Dr. Leber will conduct a full review of your medical history as well as an evaluation of your concerns to help ensure mastopexy is the best treatment option to achieve your cosmetic goals. If you struggle with a large breast size and/or heavy, debilitating breasts, a personalized breast reduction procedure may be a more ideal procedure choice. Breast reduction typically includes a minor to moderate breast lift in itself, so patients can still achieve a rejuvenated breast shape in addition to a more proportional breast size. Dr. Leber will help you develop an optimal treatment plan based on your needs.
Generally speaking, breasts that experience sag can be categorized in the following ways:
Degrees of Ptosis
- Grade 1 Ptosis—Breasts are positioned below the inframammary fold; nipples are located at the fold
- Grade 2 Ptosis—Breasts are positioned below the inframammary fold; nipples are located just below the fold
- Grade 3 Ptosis—Both the breasts and the nipples are positioned below the inframammary fold, with the nipples pointing downward and well below the fold
Women whose breasts have undergone physical changes from pregnancy and nursing are usually excellent candidates for a breast lift. In fact, the surgery is commonly performed as part of a Mommy Makeover for those who wish to comprehensively restore a pre-pregnancy figure. Additionally, a breast lift can be a solution for individuals experiencing stretching of the breasts, particularly around the nipples and areola. Dr. Leber can examine your cosmetic concerns and help you determine whether a breast lift can fulfill your aesthetic goals. In some cases, a breast augmentation combined with breast lift techniques can be a more effective procedure to increase the size of the breasts while simultaneously rejuvenating their position.
Should I Get a Breast Lift with Implants?
Some women’s needs and goals make them better suited for a breast lift with implants rather than a traditional breast lift. This determination is made on a case by case basis during the consultation process with Dr. Leber. Candidates for breast lift surgery who have lost a considerable amount of breast volume over the years and want to restore or enhance their prior breast size may be well-suited for a breast lift with implants. For more information on the breast augmentation with lift procedure, please visit our page dedicated to this specific type of breast surgery.
How is Breast Lift Surgery Performed?
A breast lift is performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia. Dr. Leber generally places incisions around the areola to allow minimal scarring and a natural-looking result. The procedure can take anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the complexity of your treatment plan.
Dermal Wing Mastopexy
Recognizing the limitations of a traditional breast lift, Dr. Leber developed a procedure that can better support the newly lifted breasts and reduce the occurrence of future breast sag. Conventionally, a breast lift relies on the skin to support the breasts’ new position on the chest wall, inevitably leading to eventual ptosis (hanging or bottoming out) of the breasts as the natural aging process continues and skin begins to loosen. With Dr. Leber’s Dermal Wing Mastopexy technique, the patient’s own tissue is repositioned higher on the chest wall (auto-augmentation). The normally discarded dermis is used as a medial and lateral “dermal wing” that is sutured to its higher position on the chest wall, allowing greater support of the breast, much like an internal bra or sling. This takes much of the tension away from the overlying skin. An immediate improvement in the upper pole fullness is recognized in an otherwise deflated breast, often making placement of an implant unnecessary. Dr. Leber believes this results in a longer-lasting “lifted” aesthetic for the breasts when compared to a traditional mastopexy.
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What is Recovery Like for a Breast Lift?
After surgery, dressings will be placed over the incisions and a surgical bra may be temporarily worn to aid the healing process. Patients can typically return home on the same day with a friend or loved one. While strenuous exercise should be avoided for approximately three weeks (or whenever cleared by Dr. Leber), work and daily activities can usually be resumed within one to two weeks.
Results from a breast lift can be noticed immediately, but will generally improve as recovery progresses. There may be some post-operative bruising or swelling, but any discomfort can be managed with oral pain medication. The final outcome from a breast lift is considered long-lasting, but the effects of gravity and aging will continue. Dr. Leber’s approach has been known to provide a longer-lasting aesthetic result when compared to a traditional breast lift procedure.
How Long Do Breast Lift Results Last?
Thanks to Dr. Leber’s Dermal Wing technique, which is designed to relieve tension on the breast skin to keep the breasts from “bottoming out,” the results of mastopexy often persist for many years despite the continuation of the aging process. This is why mastopexy outcomes for Dr. Leber’s patients typically endure longer when compared to results yielded by traditional breast lift techniques that solely rely on the skin for support. By undergoing breast lift surgery after your family is complete and adhering to a healthy lifestyle, the results of a breast lift can last for the considerable future. Women who receive a breast lift usually do not feel the need to undergo retreatment or additional procedures.
A few tips that can further prolong your newly lifted aesthetic include refraining from smoking and using sun protection to maintain good skin quality. Pregnancy and nursing have also been known to affect the lifespan of breast lift results, so waiting until all plans for having children are complete before pursuing mastopexy can help preserve the shape and positioning of the breasts.
Does a Breast Lift Leave Scars?
Some visible scars are to be expected following a breast lift; however, with proper healing, attentive post-surgical care, and time for tissue to mature, scars can fade considerably. The appearance of scars depends upon the breast lift technique used and where the surgical incisions were placed. Prior to surgery, Dr. Leber always discusses the incision patterns he plans to use so patients are well-informed about what to expect. When performing the procedure, Dr. Leber skillfully places incisions so that they are either camouflaged within the darker skin of the areolar border and/or hidden beneath the breast fold. While the vertical incision from the base of the areola to the bottom of the breast cannot be concealed, it is usually well-hidden under a bra or bikini top.
To promote proper healing of the incisions and limit the prominence of scars, it is important for patients to refrain from smoking (or using nicotine of any kind) for a period of time both before and after surgery. Nicotine prevents optimal blood circulation, and thus impedes tissue healing. Caring for incisions—changing dressings, attending follow-up appointments, and keeping incisions out of the sun—is critical for preventing infection (along with taking antibiotics as prescribed) and supporting successful healing.
Can I Breastfeed After a Breast Lift?
As long as you discuss your desires to breastfeed with Dr. Leber, you should be able to retain the ability to nurse after surgery. He can perform the mastopexy procedure while keeping the nipple intact and preserving the nerves, glands, and milk ducts, helping ensure that future breastfeeding a possibility. However, it’s important to note that not all women are able to successfully breastfeed even before surgery, so this should also be considered when managing breast lift expectations.
While medically possible, Dr. Leber generally recommends postponing your surgery until after all plans for nursing are complete due to the potential cosmetic effects of breastfeeding. Some of the most common body changes caused by pregnancy and nursing include increased laxity and looseness of the skin, as well as a loss of breast shape. To maintain the rejuvenation and “projected” appearance achieved by breast lift surgery as long as possible, it is in the best interest of your results to avoid breastfeeding and pregnancy after your procedure.
Are Non-Surgical Breast Lift Techniques Effective?
While there are claims that certain chest exercises can create the effect of a breast lift, breast ptosis cannot be reversed without the use of surgical techniques. So called “breast lift exercises” merely focus on strengthening the chest muscles deep to the breasts and cannot resolve cosmetic concerns resulting from stretched excess skin and/or depleted breast volume. Fortunately, plastic surgery techniques have perfected the art of restoring the youthful elevation and shape of women’s breasts. For more information about how breast lift surgery rejuvenates the appearance of the breasts, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leber.
How Much Does a Breast Lift Cost?
The average price of a breast lift at our practice is between $10,500 and $12,500. Each breast lift surgical plan is uniquely developed to suit the needs and goals of the patient, which can cause the price of the procedure to fall above or below this average range. For an accurate breast lift price estimate, a personal consultation with Dr. Leber is necessary. During this appointment he can custom-tailor a breast lift plan designed to create the results you desire.
Several factors covered in your surgical plan can affect the cost of a breast lift, including:
- The breast lift technique used
- The complexity of the procedure
- Whether breast implants are placed with the lift
- Anesthesiology fees
- Costs for post-surgical garments
- Any post-surgical medications
You can expect to receive a detailed quote for your surgery expenses at the end of your appointment. At this time you can ask our office team any questions you may have about procedure pricing, payment options we accept, and plastic surgery financing opportunities. If you are interested in finding out how to make the cost of your surgery more budget-friendly, we can educate you about the trusted third-party lenders we partner with. For qualified applicants, these companies offer loans and payment plans that are designed to make surgery more accessible and affordable! Our team is always available to help you at any stage of your plastic surgery journey.
A breast lift can be a dynamic way to achieve a younger-looking breast appearance. For more information on this procedure, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice today.